Sweet tit-humping Christ I’m tired.
Tired of the chronic lack of accountability in Ottawa. Of a parliamentary press corps that been for far too long too prissy and timid to rightly ferret and call out endless examples Conservative corruption with tenacious vigour (see also: libel chill).
Tired of national apathy and cynicism understandably bred by a seemingly never ending barrage of brazen disregard for the collective values that have defined Canada for the past 40 plus years on the part of the Harpercons.
Tired of our national transition from innovator to regressive resource-based economy. Tired of corporatist Lysenkoism, capitalist force-projection masquerading as international development, and –especially — acts of self-interested international climate treaty sabotage to keep the tar sands safe.
And boy am I goddamn fucking exhausted at the prospect of having to subsidize this bright new CO2-saturated Tory blue future by having to slave the rest of my life in low-wage purgatory (Freedom 75, baby!) because the (quote) “entitlements” that allowed prior generations to achieve wealth and a general level of security are now somehow simultaneously unsustainable and morally suspect (because communism or something).
Ideologues who piss on the very concept of data-driven policy making and demonize those who commit sociology have no business redefining Canada to suit their self-destructive political nihilism. The next two years are (and no this isn’t hyperbole and it’s goddamn time Canadians stopped perpetually stifling ourselves for fear of seeming unhinged because the Tories already blew all the doors off this motherfucker ages ago) without a doubt pivotal to what Canada will look like for the next 20+ years. So much damage has been done that we are going to not only have to prepare for electoral change, but also for a long-term struggle to reshape an amorphous future.
But, most immediately, every vote counts, more than ever.
So keep watching this space; as they say, change begins at home.
Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but things ain’t lookin’ good for the Brazman:
Senator Patrick Brazeau will be formally charged with domestic assault and sexual assault later this morning, following a brief appearance at the courthouse in Gatineau, Que.
Brazeau, who appeared in court wearing a black suit and white dress shirt, did not have his lawyer present for his first appearance at about 9:15 a.m. ET Friday.
Also (re: this):
I hope the good Senator dressed those words with ketchup before chowing down in his holding cell.
In the ensuing years, each time [Brazeau] displayed a stunning lack of judgment or acted in his typically boorish and bullying manner, he took to blaming the messenger.
When Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn reported on Brazeau’s woeful attendance record in the Senate — he was within days of being fined for his absences at the time — he took to Twitter to slag the reporter.
“Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying,” the juvenile Brazeau told Ditchburn on his Twitter feed.
In recent weeks, Brazeau must have seen it all coming apart.
The Star caught him mocking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at a Conservative fundraiser and CTV Ottawa bureau chief Robert Fife found Brazeau was allegedly gaming the system, illegally claiming his father’s house as his primary residence so he could pocket a housing allowance.
Wednesday night, hours before police responded to the disturbance at Brazeau’s home, Fife reported that the senator had allegedly listed his mailing address as that of his ex-father-in-law’s house to gain an aboriginal tax exemption and Brazeau predictably branded Fife a racist.
Somehow, Brazeau seemed to think he could simply brazen his way through all this as charge was heaped upon charge, complication was piled upon complication and his enemies proliferated.
He has invited Canadians to once again heap scorn upon a discredited institution but, in this case, Canadians have no one to blame but Harper.
Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau: Accountability for Thee, Not For Me UPDATE: Senator Brazeau in Jail, Removed From Tory Caucus
Update: Holy shit:
Senator Patrick Brazeau is in jail following an alleged domestic assault, sources tell CBC News, and has been removed from the Conservative Party’s caucus.
Brazeau, who has weathered several controversies since his appointment in 2009, will continue to sit in the Senate as an Independent.
It’s not clear whether any charges have been laid. Brazeau was arrested at 9:10 a.m. ET Thursday at his residence in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa.
Marjory LeBreton, the government Senate leader, sent a letter to Brazeau’s office and caucus members in the morning informing them of his removal.
“In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further,” LeBreton said in a statement.
A senior government source says Prime Minister Stephen Harper was saddened and shocked by the latest Brazeau developments, and took action immediately.
Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau used his former father-in-law’s address in a First Nations community when he claimed an aboriginal income tax exemption from 2004 to 2008, CTV News has learned.
Brazeau, who has publicly called on aboriginal leaders to be more financially accountable, listed the residence on the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec as his mailing address for four years, unbeknownst to his ex-wife’s father.
“I was not aware of that,” Daryl Tenasoco told CTV News.
Neighbours said it did not appear that Brazeau lived in the community.
“I’ve never seen him,” Jean Guy Whiteduck said. “It’s right across from my place. I’ve never seen him there. He may have visited. That’s about it.”
But documents show that income tax exemptions were applied to Brazeau from 2004 to 2008 when he listed the Kitigan Zibi home as his address.
Brazeau, who has publicly called on aboriginal leaders to be more financially accountable, listed the residence on the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec as his mailing address for four years… .
Neighbours said it did not appear that Brazeau lived in the community.
Hypocrisy is a real B, huh Senator?
“I worked for (Mulroney-era environment minister) Tom McMillan, who was a very red Tory. I wrote speeches for him. We never checked his speeches with the PMO. He’d get up to answer in Question Period. He didn’t have a script for how to answer. Brian Mulroney was not telling his cabinet members what to say, syllable by syllable… . I look at Peter Kent and I think my God man you had a great reputation. You were a great journalist. You won the Robert Kennedy Prize for journalism. And you’re going to stand up in the House and read the lines?”
- Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, from an interview with Dan Gardner
The F-35 boondoggle in context: This “is oppressive, dictatorial regime-building that would do any petro-state proud”
We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Canuckistan — and Michael Harris says that we just had our “Wizard of Oz moment”:
The curtain has been well and truly whipped away from the PM’s self-promoting deceptions and he is revealed for what he is: a power-tripper on a mission to give Canada an extreme makeover that only the super-rich and the semi-comatose could endorse. And he is doing it with virtually no debate, creating something of a new phenomenon in Canadian politics; sole-source public policy.
We have Peter MacKay to thank for the official revelation — belated though it was. The minister of defensiveness has finally dished after weeks of embarrassing prevarications. It turns out the whole Harper cabinet was in on the F-35 whopper, an exercise that both the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Auditor General saw for what it was — a studied deception.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office had an even better description of the same process stateside. The Pentagon’s top weapons’ purchaser, Frank Kendall, said the plan to buy the F-35 was “acquisitions malpractice.” In this country, two sets of books were produced – one containing the real scoop, the other the “communications” version for the Great Unwashed. It turns out interim Liberal leader Bob Rae was dead right — the PM and cabinet knew they were lying to Canadians about the true costs of the F-35 during an election and Stephen Harper is ultimately accountable.
This is not “strong, stable government” a la Harper’s PR mantra. It is oppressive, dictatorial regime-building that would do any petro-state proud.
It is also the de-confederation of the country and the death spiral of independent information bearers. The war machine is more important than the social safety net. Canada can apparently have $45 billion jets and $800,000 military fly-overs, but must rein in the Old Age Supplement and cut food inspectors. The PM can blow $45,000 in public money on a baseball junket (why on earth was Harper’s official photographer along for the ride?), but 19,000 public servants must lose their jobs. And if these institutional thugs lose a seat in an election they lust after, there’s a plan B – gerrymander the riding, as they may well do in Saanich-Gulf Islands, where Green Party leader Elizabeth May knocked off former cabinet sock-puppet Gary Lunn.
As for parliament, what’s parliament? Something to ignore, shutter, or the favored option, to geld.
Happy 1 year anniversary, Canuckistan — oh, and re: what Naomi Klein said:
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) May 1, 2012
For now, I’m happy, as noted, to let the Harpercons keep tripping over themselves; but that doesn’t mean we can’t reinforce (firmly and forcefully) the enormity of Harpercon efforts to subvert our democracy, and what it ultimately means for Canadians.
(Image: dbking, Flickr.)
Paul Wells on how it’s best sometimes to simply shut up and let your opponent’s own negative momentum take them down:
Harper is certain to keep portraying the NDP as the only bunch of witless ideologues in sight. In quiet moments Conservative strategists say that, if they ever tire of whacking Bob Rae, they will seek to portray the NDP as either extremist or incompetent. And indeed the newest feature on the Conservative party website is about “Mr. Mulcair’s NDP Team.”
But in the Commons, it is not the NDP who have been looking like circus geeks. Tom Mulcair reads his questions from his little wooden lectern. Unlike generations of Liberals, he almost never yells up a lung in Question Period. Peggy Nash, same story. Paul Dewar, probably more methodical now than a year ago. Finally this week a New Democrat confirmed to me that this is strategy, and it is designed precisely to blunt the expected Conservative attack to the effect that only Conservatives are fit to be let near the good china. The New Democrats want to put restraint, method and diligence in their own column.
When I used to ask the Liberals, when they were the Official Opposition, why they didn’t calm down a bit in QP, they would complain that gesticulating was the only way to get on the news. And indeed the calmer New Democrats are not getting a lot of space on the news. What is getting space is Bev Oda’s global OJ adventure, Stephen Harper’s 70-year digressions, and private members’ bills that seem inspired by the Danielle Smith playbook of political success. Which may explain why the NDP does not begrudge the government its time in the spotlight.
After Ethical Oil is done with its proxy Zombie Joe McCarthy crusade against the David Suzuki Foundation (what, are Ezra & co. gonna put out a hit on Raffi next?), perhaps it might consider lobbying the feds to take a look at another clear example of untoward abuse of our noble charitable sector — and an obvious case of insidious foreign interference to boot (eeek!)
As the Conservative assault continues against Canadian environmental charities, the Vancouver Observer has learned that since 2007, foreign oil billionaires the Koch brothers have donated over half a million dollars to the “charitable” right-wing Fraser Institute.
According to U.S. tax documents, the Fraser Institute received $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation in 2008, $175,500 in 2009, and another $150,000 in 2010. The grants were purportedly for “research support” and “educational programs”.
Grants to the Fraser Institute are also among the highest amounts listed in the Koch Foundation’s tax records; apart from a few substantial grants to American universities, most of the other donations were under $10,000.
Sounds like Fraser is swimming in enough dirty Koch money to make Tony Montana’s *other* little friend go OFF.
Related: To merely call Fraser’s ongoing registered charity status ‘dubious’ is to be *ahem* highly charitable; the OTHER 1% doctrine: 99% of registered Canadian charities are apolitical re: spending (just don’t call it an anti-enviro vendetta…)
(Image: 401K, Flickr)
Canada’s most famous environmentalist, David Suzuki, says he left the board of his charitable foundation to avoid being a lightning rod for criticism and government attacks that would undermine its work.
Still, Peter Robinson, who is the head of the David Suzuki Foundation, said the group is facing a “chill” that is leading it to pull back from important environmental debates lest it be accused by the federal government of exceeding its charitable mandate.
Is Suzuki a new, very high-profile casualty in the asymmetrical Harpercon war on non-profit environmental advocacy orgs?
In fact, Suzuki’s departure from the foundation that bears his name had nothing to do with the federal government’s latest attack on charities opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline. How do I know this? It happened during the summer of 2011.
Oops. Not so fresh a scoop, izzit?
Look, I’m sure there will be many more prominent resignations from charitable green outfits to come in the near future; reanimating out of context zombie #elxn41 controversies is stupid.